Studies in Hellenistic Religions

Studies in Hellenistic Religions

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Overview

This selection of essays by Luther Martin brings together studies from throughout his career--both early as well as more recent--in the various areas of Graeco-Roman religions, including mystery cults, Judaism, Christianity, and Gnosticism. It is hoped that these studies, which represent spatial, communal, and cognitive approaches to the study of ancient religions might be of interest to those concerned with the structures and dynamics of religions past in general, as well as to scholars who might, with more recent historical research, confirm, evaluate, extend, or refute the hypotheses offered here, for that is the way scholars work and by which scholarship proceeds.

""This outstanding set of essays reminds us that the study of Hellenistic religions still has a lot to offer to historians and scholars of religions. With his erudition, sharp eye, comparative outlook, and dedication to new scientific methods, Luther H. Martin offers an indispensable volume to students and scholars interested in perhaps the most diverse, rich, and complex historical period in terms of religious beliefs, ideas, and practices.""
--Nickolas P. Roubekas, University of Vienna

""Bringing together articles that Luther Martin has written over a long period of time, this volume provides valuable insights into a wide spectrum of socio-political conditions and religious traditions that shaped the thought, worldview, and religious life of the Graeco-Roman era. The author's deep knowledge of the Graeco-Roman world and his unique theoretical thought embellished by his acquaintance with cognitive theories make this volume an astonishing contribution to modern understanding of past people.""
--Olympia Panagiotidou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

""This volume contains a set of valuable and thought-provoking articles by Professor Luther H. Martin, a distinguished scholar of the history of religions. You may not always agree with Martin's views and support his conclusions, but they are often eye-opening and always worth considering. Definitely a must-read for all scholars interested in Hellenistic religions.""
--Ales Chalupa, Masaryk University, Czech Republic

""This book is a goldmine for the student of Hellenistic religions. Martin's call for a cognitive and evolutionary approach is provocative and has the potential to transform the historical study of religions.""
--Istvan Czachesz, University of Tromso

""This is a most impressive collection of essays by a distinguished scholar who for years has led the way in our understanding of the religions of the Hellenistic period. With uncommon knowledge, critical intelligence, and theoretical power drawn from the study of human cognition, Martin presents example after example of his brilliant explanation of the wide array of religious options in the period. This collection is not just an astute contribution to the study of Hellenistic culture and religion, it has the potential to change that very study.""
--Willi Braun, The University of Alberta, Canada

Luther H. Martin is Professor Emeritus of Religion at the University of Vermont. He is the editor of Past Minds (2011) and author of Deep History, Secular Theory (2014) and The Mind of Mithraists (2015). Martin is a founding editor of the Journal of Cognitive Historiography. He has been recognized as an Honorary Life Member of the International Association for the History of Religions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498283083
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 02/26/2018
Pages: 410
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.91(d)

About the Author

Luther H. Martin is Professor Emeritus of Religion at the University of Vermont. He is the editor of Past Minds (2011) and author of Deep History, Secular Theory (2014) and The Mind of Mithraists (2015). Martin is a founding editor of the Journal of Cognitive Historiography. He has been recognized as an Honorary Life Member of the International Association for the History of Religions.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Acknowledgments xiii

Abbreviations xvi

Introduction: General Characteristics of the Hellenistic Era / Panayotis Pachis 1

Part 1 The Graeco-Roman Religious World

1 Greek and Roman Philosophy and Religion 35

2 The Very Idea of Globalization: The Case of Hellenistic Empire 64

3 Fate, Futurity, and Historical Consciousness in Western Antiquity 79

4 Why Cecropian Minerva? Hellenistic Religious Syncretism as System 97

5 Kingship and the Consolidation of Religiopolitical Power during the Hellenistic Period 113

6 Biology, Sociology, and the Study of Religion: Two Lectures 124

Part 2 Oracular Dreaming

7 Religion and Dream Theory in Late Antiquity 143

8 Prayer in Graeco-Roman Religions 151

9 Petitionary Prayer in the Graeco-Roman World: Comparison, Consequences, Cognition, and a few Conclusions 156

Part 3 Graeco-Roman Mysteries

10 Imagistic Traditions in the Graeco-Roman World 171

11 Those Elusive Eleusinian Mystery Shows 181

12 Greek Goddesses and Grain: The Sicilian Connection 196

13 History, Cognitive Science, and the Problematic Study of Folk Religions: The Case of the Eleusinian Mysteries of Demeter 210

14 Mithras, Milites and Bovine Legs: A Response to Aleš Chalupa and Tomáš Glomb, "The Third Symbol of the Miles Grade on the Floor Mosaic of the Felicissimus Mithraeum in Ostia: A New Interpretation" 230

15 "Star Talk": Native Competence; Initiatory Comprehension 236

16 When Size Matters: Social Formations in the Graeco-Roman World 246

Part 4 Hellenistic Judaism and Christianity

17 Josephus's use of Heimarmene in the Jewish Antiquities 8.171-173 263

18 Gods or Ambassadors of God? Barnabas and Paul in Lystra 274

19 The Hellenisation of Judaeo-Christian Faith or the Christianisation of Hellenic Thought? 281

20 The Encyclopedia Hellenistica and Christian Origins 299

21 Past Minds: Evolution, Cognition, and Biblical Studies 309

Part 5 Gnosticism

22 Genealogy and Sociology in the Apocalypse of Adam 323

23 Technologies of the Self and Self-Knowledge in the Syrian Thomas Tradition 338

24 Self and Power in the Thought of Plotinus 349

Index 361

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